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June 2022: Field Report


30 Jun 2022

The slow process of studying coral restoration success.

The end of June 2022 was an important research period for us, as we were gathering data to answer a simple, yet understudied, question in coral restoration: Does the growth and survival of corals in protected nursery change if these corals are returned to the natural reef?

Collecting coral fragments from our coral tree nurseries. These corals will be planted at designated restoration sites.

In May 2021, we outplanted 300 corals from 6 species to test the novel coralclip planting method in our monsoon environment. After planting these corals, we started to track growth and survival to see how efficient these coralclips were. In particular, we wanted to know if there were any differences between species.

Corals 417g and 479g after collecting and planting these from our coral tree nurseries, where they have been growing for ~12 months.

This is a basic study, but such data have not been recorded before in Peninsular Malaysia. Hence, it was of fundamental significance to record outplanting success data to improve coral restoration protocols and strategies. Much like our nursery phase study we found that the Indo-Pacific staghorn coral (Acropora muricata) was the worst performer of the six investigated species.

Other species were good 'survivalist', but bad 'growers'. 2 species - Acropora florida and Hyndophora rigida - stood out, as being good overall 'performers' (i.e., good growth and high survival).

We aim to survey these corals one more time in October before publishing our results in a scientific journal. But before that, click on this link below to see some beautiful growth of these outplants:

A daily reminder to celebrate 🪸✨growth ✨🪸 no matter how small | Instagram

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